The idea of voided flat plate slabs already existed in ancient times. Even then, it was clear to the designers, that solid constructions exerted too much of a load, making large spaces impossible.
One of the earliest examples of a building that was not solid, is the Pantheon in Rome; „Cassettes“ in the slab construction reduced the overall weight – the ceilings could be designed to span more generous expanses. For larger buildings, this voided principle was used into the middle ages, and it is still used today.
In the mid-1990s, the idea of voided flat plate slabs was reinvented – by making use of plastic void formers, „genuine“ void former building became possible.
The Institute of Solid Construction at the Technical University of Darmstadt, under the guidance of Gottfried Hofmann / BubbleDeck AG, has shown particular scientific interest in these new opportunities. Work began here at the end of the 90s to investigate the exact load-bearing behaviour of bi-axial reinforced concrete slabs with integrated spherical void formers. Compared to the rectangular elements or cubic cavities that had been used until then, void formers have the advantage of being sufficiently load-bearing biaxially without additional shear reinforcement.
The concentration on a bi-axially load-bearing X-Zone (as the remaining concrete structure between the void formers) will still remain at the core of the Cobiax philosophy for decades to come.
2000 – 2004
The first pilot projects document the feasibility and sustainability of the technology in the practice. The products are further developed, continuously.
Technologies and products are given their current brand names. Cobiax becomes a symbol of superior voided flat plate slab technology.
The first serial products are ready for the market: Pro-Line and Eco-Line. The voided modules are geometric spheres from recycled plastic.
Cobiax is presenting its Slim-Line products, which are the result of intense research and development into every aspect of the X-Zone. They have an ellipsoid shape and are bringing in a new era for voided flat slabs: Even slimmer slabs can now be built.
Cobiax Eco-Line is awarded DIBT certification.
Cobiax receives the Swiss Environmental Prize for the Reduction of CO2
emissions, through considerable reduction of the volume of concrete needed for construction. (The Swiss Environmental Prize is only awarded every two years. Projects that represent new technologies, processes or product-oriented novelties in the area of the environment are acknowledged.)
The Slim-Line products are optimised within the framework of a ZIM research project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology, on the basis of a resolution passed by the German parliament.
Cobiax Eco-Line is awarded DIBT certification. Cobiax receives the Research Prize for Sustainable Developments from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (Top 3).
The Heinze Gruppe takes over Cobiax.
The Slim-Line Click supplements the Cobiax range. This version facilitates the installation of the elements and the reinforcing, thereby increasing the safety and reducing the examination costs.
The product line receives Bronze at the Architects Darling Awards.
Cobiax presents its new market positioning featuring a new logo and a revised homepage. We are thus strengthening our position as a technology and market leader in void former systems for sustainable slab constructions.
The EcoLine becomes Cobiax EL. The SlimLine in all versions becomes Cobiax SL.
Cobiax is presenting a patented product, Cobiax CLS, which has been developed recently. It is the result of ongoing research and the quest to find the ideal X-zone in combination with the most suitable installation and logistics. Even though the exterior shape of the CLS is rectangular, even these structural formers create ellipsoidal hollow spaces within the concrete structure, which means that they remain faithful to the Cobiax philosophy.
Cobiax is presenting this product line at the Construction 2019 trade fair. CLS stands for concrete lightweight structures. The lightweight construction element that provides the structure of reinforced concrete slabs is not just a seamless extension of previous advantages offered by Cobiax, it also maximises them in many ways.
Cobiax CLS is a milestone in the development of void former technology - the built-in elements are extremely safe during construction and easy to transport.